Together Forever and Messy Break-Ups

SUBMITTED BY bruce willey

One of the APMM's goals is to unite model makers. This article is not about that. (Phew!) It's about some of the products your peers recommend when they want to permanently bond things, when they want to temporarily bond things, and when they want to get them apart again.

First, a couple of basic tips concerning our old friend 'superglue':

Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue relies on moisture to bond thoroughly and quickly. In dry climates or workspaces, try breathing on the parts to be bonded just before applying the glue. 

Baking soda and CA glue make a versatile model making combination. It fills holes and gaps, hardens quickly, and creates a dense material that sands, files, drills and taps quite nicely. 

Ultrathin CA glue can be wicked into a seam, even a painted one, without leaving any on the surface. Dip the corner of a piece of coated paper, like double-sided tape backer or wax paper, into a drop of the glue to collect a smaller droplet, then touch it against the seam. It slurps right in! Customizing the size and shape of the piece of paper to control droplet size helps it work better. 

Loctite 4090 or other Loctite hybrid adhesives seem to work very well on Polyjet and MJF parts, where CA maybe just isn’t cutting it. 

Loctite 380 (Black Max) is the best of many products tested for gluing stainless steel together. Read more under the Adhesives category on the Forum.

SC 2000 Black Cement is regarded as an excellent adhesive for gluing rubber to rubber, or to metal and other surfaces. Though it comes with a liquid hardener, that is not required to make it activate or harden, just speeds up the process. 

Here are 3 recommended double-sided tapes, with links, from a recent Meet-up:
Nichiban Tape from Misumi
Remo Two from Duraco

If you place your stock on double-sided tape on the machine bed and whack it with a rubber mallet, you should hear a dull thud. If it makes a hollow smack noise, the bottom of the stock might not be flat. You can apply dots of Loctite Black Max to the stock, and accelerator to the tape, and stick it down that way. It holds quite well, and you don't have to scrape glue off the machine bed afterwards.

OK, now you're done with having the parts taped together and you want them apart again and all cleaned up:

Isopropyl alcohol will cause paper-backed double-stick tapes to release their adhesive without leaving a slurry of adhesive on the part you’re trying to remove the double-stick tape from. 

Heptane (or the product Bestine) is a phenomenal chemical for removing adhesives from tapes of all kinds, be it years-old masking or duct tape that has seen heat regularly or highly compressed double-sided tape. 

D-Limonene, which is made from citrus fruit peels, is an excellent substitute for acetone and other harsh chemicals for the release or removal of tape adhesive. 

Do you have a favorite product, a little-known trick, or ideas for innovative uses of a well-known product? Contact us at [email protected] to share your tip, or you can post tips on the Forum.